# Need help interpreting this data table (provided below)

I am confused about this data table. Can someone please explain how this person got a linear alkanes of differing molar masses? (I know some basics of organic chemistry, but I'm still learning.) Are there differing compounds to each of the ones listed underneath Boiling Point? If so, where can I learn these compounds or is there a database that has a list of compounds under each one?

• Your best bet will be a basic organic chemistry text. The next best thing might be Wikipedia: look up alkanes, aldehydes, alcohols, ketones. That should give you a feel for what is meant by the terms "linear alkanes", etc., if you have some chemistry background. If you get too frustrated and confused, that means you are over your head and need to spend some more time with the basics or you'll end up giving up on chemistry altogether! – airhuff Mar 16 '17 at 3:49

The first row for each number in the leftmost column represent alkanes with $n$ many carbons and aldehydes and ketones with $n-1$ carbons and one double bonded oxygen. These are all in the same row because if you replace a carbon with a double bonded oxygen, you wind up with the same mass once you remove the excess hydrogens. The next row is for alcohols, which have an $-\ce{OH}$ instead of a $=\ce{O}$, which leads to an increase in molar mass by 2.

The alkane link above links to a table, which shows the boiling points with the molecular formula for each alkane.